Two firefighters with the City of North Vancouver are under investigation for allegedly providing false information to their employer about their vaccine status, multiple sources claim.
Global News has identified of one of the firefighters, who did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this story.
North Vancouver’s COVID-19 vaccine policy required all employees to be fully-immunized by Jan. 25, unless exempted through a human rights-based accommodation.
City of North Vancouver, Mayor Linda Buchanan and City of North Vancouver Fire Chief Greg Schalk did not respond to request for interviews.
In an emailed statement, Schalk would not confirm or deny the allegations.
“We take breaches of this policy very seriously and the policy had let employees know that any employee found to have provided false or misleading information may also be subject to disciplinary action up to, and including, termination of employment and a full investigation would be undertaken,” he wrote.
“We are not able to speak to personnel matters and provide details as any information specific to an employee, or the process being followed, is confidential.”
According to Schalk’s statement, sent by a City of North Vancouver official, acceptable proof of compliance included a digital or paper form of the BC Vaccine Card, the federal government’s COVID-19 proof of vaccination, or a copy of one’s vaccination record from B.C.’s Health Gateway
“As part of the policy implementation, where employees were only able to produce a manual immunization card, such instances were followed up with those employees,” he wrote.
Schalk’s written statement did not answer any of Global News’ questions about the allegations against the two firefighters.
Global News could not confirm whether the members had been suspended with or without pay or whether the outcome of the investigations will be made public.
In a Wednesday pandemic briefing, Global News asked provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry about the firefighters. She said she couldn’t speak to the case, but addressed the issue of fraudulent vaccine records in general:
“We do have ways of determining if vaccine record is a true record and we were following up on a few — I think it was around 1,000 — that we knew were fraudulent records,” she said.
“I would encourage people to get the protection that you need, especially if you’re in an important position, like an emergency responder, like firefighters are.”
-With files from Rumina Daya